Sound — 9
Allow me to begin while saying that this is the follow up I was begging for after the Red Album. The Blue Record comes from a more matured Baroness, meaning that they have taken what they have learned from their previous albums, in what works and what sounds pleasnts, and combined it into a killer new album. Old Baroness fans will be pleased that the band has not changed their overall tone, and the riffs are still Mastodon-esque with beautiful fills mixed throughout. Old fans might also be spooked by the bands new guitarist, but I assure you that this guy plays in full Baroness style, and I was happy the tone did not change all that much. The Blue Record does not achieve anything new except for an acoustic track, which is a little disappointing, but it is one of my favorite metal albums of the year. I am impressed that the band could keep the same sound while changing guitarists, because a lot of bands have a problem with that.
Lyrics — 9
If you liked the Red Album then you will be most pleased with the Blue Record's consistency. The lyrics are catchy, but they are not dulled down. The lyricss are still shouted with intensity and passion. I do not obsessed over lyrics with bands that are not Rise Against, so I will not give an unfair critque of Baroness's lyrics, because I was not looking at them intensely in my listening. However, the vocals are strong, catchy, and overall awesome. The new guitarist, Pete Adams, is the backing vocals. His vocals are usually melodic, especially in the acoustic song, Steel that Sleeps the Eye.
Overall Impression — 9
Compared to the band's previous works, I think this was the logical next step. The Blue Record was a cohesive and beautiful piece of work and this review does not do it justice. My personal favorite songs are: Jake Leg, War, Wisdom and Rhyme, The Gnashing, and O'er Hell and Hide. I still prefer the Red Album and their past works, but I believe this is the stepping stone that Baroness needs in order to create a masterpiece, which I am hoping they can create with their next album.